The month of June has been very kind to several MiLB Pack Pros so far, with a couple of them even making bids for a major league call-up. In the meantime, let’s have a look at how they are performing in the minors as summer gets into full swing.
Will Wilson, shortstop, Eugene Emeralds (San Francisco Giants)
Wilson was swinging a hot bat heading into June, and although his production has tapered off slightly, his numbers are still very solid. The shortstop homered twice in the Emeralds' last May series, a six-game homestand against the Spokane Indians, going yard on May 25 and May 29.
The 22-year-old’s bat has cooled off since then, largely due to an uptick in strikeouts. Wilson has struck out seven times in his first 13 June at-bats, but has maintained his batting average by registering four hits in that same span.
While his slugging percentage is starting to drop from a sky-high .578 for the month of May, a .292/.381/.563 slash line on the season is still a promising start. If Wilson can continue to hit the ball in the air as shown by his 0.56 groundout-to-airout ratio, he should be able to maintain his progress throughout the season.
Jason Parker, right-handed pitcher, Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds)
Parker has made two starts in the past two weeks, performing adequately well in both. His 5.1-inning showing on May 27 that saw the Tortugas defeat the St. Lucie Mets 9-4 was solid enough for the win, as Parker’s only mistake was surrendering a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning.
Parker was even more run-averse in his first start of June, giving up only one earned run on one hit in 4.2 innings pitched on June 2. This last outing brought the righty’s batting average against down to .162 on the year. If Parker can limit the amount of fly balls he allows — he currently sports a 0.70 groundout-to-airout ratio against all hitters — this number will be primed to fall even further.
Michael Bienlien, right-handed pitcher, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers)
Bienlien is another pitcher that is throwing very well as of late. The 23-year-old has not allowed any hits in his last three outings going back to May 26. While Bienlien did walk three in a two-inning outing on May 28 against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the righty has also been very stingy in allowing runners on base, evidenced by his .128 batting average against in 2021.
Evan Mendoza, third baseman, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals)
Although he is primarily a defensive player, Mendoza’s bat is beginning to heat up in June. The 24-year-old is not exactly a power hitter, as his on-base percentage exceeds his slugging percentage by five points so far this season, but solid contact and good speed have propelled Mendoza to five hits in his first 17 at-bats of June.
If Mendoza can prove his worth as a hitter as well as a fielder, it is only a matter of time before he gets a call-up to the major leagues.
Preston Palmeiro, second baseman, Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels)
Palmeiro is yet another batter picking up steam at the plate in June. The son of four-time MLB All-Star Rafael Palmeiro is doing his best impersonation of his dad at the plate as of late, racking up 15 total bases, including two homers in his last six games, boosting his slugging percentage to .449 in his time in Salt Lake.
Palmeiro has also showcased his plate discipline, striking out just five times in 37 at-bats since May 23 while drawing three walks. If he can keep up this level of production, it will be interesting to see how much longer Palmeiro remains a minor leaguer.